After Jackie Battle had a few good performances, it looks like Ryan Mathews is back as the lead back for the Chargers. Mathews had a great game Monday night against the New Orleans Saints, rushing for 80 yards on 12 carries with a touchdown. He also had six catches for 59 yards, so it was a solid game for fantasy owners. Battle is still going to get some carries moving forward, but it’s safe to say that barring injury Mathews is the back to own from here on out. Don’t drop Battle, though, because he still should see the majority of goal line work.
Cedric Benson’s foot injury has turned out to be a serious one and he will miss at least eight weeks. It appears that James Starks will get first crack at the starting job, but don’t count out Alex Green. The Packers are saying that Starks will be the first option, but remember that Green got most of the work last week when Benson went down. He had nine carries for 55 yards and has a nice burst of speed. Green clearly has better upside; Starks has more experience. Nonetheless, both backs should be picked up, with Green being your first waiver priority.
New York Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw had a career day in Week 5, logging 200 yards and a touchdown on the ground against Cleveland. This was definitely an unexpected performance from Bradshaw, especially since New York was down by two touchdowns early in the contest, but he ran hard and got 30 carries. Backup Andre Brown went out with a concussion in this game as well, so that leaves rookie David Wilson to steal a small amount of work from Bradshaw. Owners should feel confident in starting him every week, but be wary in Week 6 as the Giants draw San Francisco and its excellent defense.
Jeremy Kerley, WR, New York Jets
Kerley is now the No. 1 receiver for the Jets since Santonio Holmes is done for the season. I’m not sure how much his fantasy value increases since New York is having a very hard time scoring touchdowns, but he did have a nice game in Week 5 against a tough Houston pass defense (five receptions, 94 yards). Kerley has a favorable matchup on Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts, so take a shot with him. If the Jets start moving the ball more effectively, he will be one of the main reasons. Also, Indianapolis has given up the sixth-most fantasy points to wide receivers this season.
William Powell, RB, Arizona
First, Arizona loses Chris ‘Beanie’ Wells for 6-8 weeks. Now they lose Ryan Williams for the season due to an injured shoulder. Powell hasn’t been named the starter, but he is an interesting player to keep an eye on. La’Rod Stephens-Howling is expected to play this weekend, but Powell has the better upside in this situation. I don’t know if you want to play either back just yet, but they do have an enticing matchup against a terrible Buffalo run defense in Week 6. The two backs will split carries, but Powell seems to be the better option at this point. If you are in dire need of a running back take a chance.
Rueben Randle, WR, New York Giants
Randle had a solid game last Sunday filling in for the injured Hakeem Nicks. He caught six passes for 82 yards and received nine targets, overall. Even though teammates say Nicks is playing on Sunday, it’s still not certain. Nicks is questionable at best right now, and, if he’s out for Week 6, Randle is a great option in most formats. Keep a close eye on this situation because the Giants play the San Francisco 49ers this weekend and will probably be forced to throw the ball more frequently against that tough run defense.
Lock of the Week
Jacob Tamme, TE, Denver
Tamme has had a quiet start to the 2012 season, scoring just one touchdown in five games, but he has been getting plenty of targets. It’s just a matter of time before some of those turn into more trips to pay dirt. In Week 5 he had six catches for 50 yards, but the encouraging stat here is that Tamme had the ball thrown his way 11 times. He has a pretty good quarterback throwing him the ball, so look for Tamme to have a big night against the San Diego Chargers on Monday night and find the end zone at least once.